Style is equal parts fashion and substance; feed your mind with these literary picks. From dystopian government surveillance to the puzzle of modern dating, this mix of literary classics and modern gems offers timeless ideas and countless conversation starters.
The Picture of Dorian Grey – Oscar Wilde
Literature’s most famous dandy, Wilde crafted works of sharp, playful wit and keen insight. The Picture of Dorian Grey is a cautionary tale of the hazards that can come from giving in to vanity and youthful selfishness. If you’re looking for age-defying effects, we recommend a more traditional skincare routine.
The Road – Cormac McCarthy
McCarthy offers no extraneous language in this sparse and bleak depiction of a post-apocalyptic world. As a man and his son travel through the country, their journey offers a poignant portrayal of fatherhood.
1984 – George Orwell
The classic dystopian tale of constant government surveillance and war is growing increasingly relevant. Follow Winston as he discovers and joins a secret organization trying to overturn the government and fight Big Brother.
Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
Can you imagine the world where books were banned? Bradbury presents Fireman Guy Montag, tasked with setting fire to any books he finds. If you’re concerned about the effect of television and mass media, you’ll appreciate this reflection on culture and society.
Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
Marlow’s journey up the Congo River in Africa offers a comparison of Africa’s “savages” with the genteel “civilized” people of London. As the novella progresses, the portrayals of racism and colonialism suggest that London’s civility might be an illusion.
Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
The classic horror story about a man, his creation, and what it means to be human is a much darker tale than the typical portrayal served up by pop culture. While Shelley was only 21 when she wrote the tale during a summer vacation it is considered one of the first science fiction horror stories.
Satanic Verses – Salman Rushdie
Both a remarkable piece of literature and the cause of one of the most famous literary controversy, Rushdie’s Satanic Verses deserves attention. The story of a man traveling through time and space, trapped between cultures, led to a fatwa being issued against Rushdie for the book’s references of the Prophet Mohammed.
How to Make Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
Hoping to avoid a decade-long fatwa? Pick up Carnegie’s classic advice book. He shares advice for building relationships, how to make people feel valued, and how to present your ideas in a way that wins people over. It might sound dubious but these skills come in handy at the dinner table or in the boardroom.
Modern Romance – Aziz Ansari
Whether you still have Tinder installed on your phone or you’re settled with your better half, Ansari’s guide to modern dating is a fun look at the science behind modern dating. Half data-driven sociology and half comedy, swipe right on this book if you’re curious about today’s romantic culture.
Both Flesh and Not – David Foster Wallace
Haven’t quite become invested into Infinite Jest? Enjoy a some of Wallace’s writing in smaller chunks with his third collection of essays; the fifteen pieces included offer thoughtfully detailed ruminations on an unexpected selection of ideas.